British soap legend Dean Sullivan has died at the age of 68.
Dean was best known for his long-running role in the Channel 4 series Brookside, in which he played Jimmy Corkhill for a total of 17 years.
His agent confirmed the news that Dean had died peacefully on Wednesday, following a short illness.
A joint statement from Dean’s family and management said: “To millions he was and very much still is remembered as ‘Jimmy’, to family and friends he was ‘Dino’.
“Dean’s family wants to thank Arrowe Park Hospital for their unwavering and consistent support. We ask that you respect their privacy in their time of grief.”
Before turning to acting, Dean had worked as a primary school teacher for a number of years.
The Liverpool-born actor joined Brookside as Jimmy Corkhill in 1986, and went on to become its longest-serving member of the cast.
During his 17 years as part of the show, his character was involved in a number of high-profile storylines, including drug addiction and struggles with his mental health.
Jimmy was also the one to discover the body of Trevor Jordache under the patio in one of Brookside’s most famous storylines ever.
Dean remained with the show until it came to an end in November 2003. Around this time, he earned the inaugural Outstanding Achievement prize at the British Soap Awards.
Earlier this year, Dean shared that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, for which he underwent radiotherapy treatment and was discharged last year (as reported by the Daily Mail).